A freedom rally at the Douglas County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon drew about 100 people who came to protest what they said is the overreach of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.
The crowd carried signs denouncing Brown’s COVID-19 policies.
Signs read “Shutdown the Shutdown,” another read “I need to be able to tell my children I did not stay silent,” a couple of young kids held a sign that said, “Let me go to school,” and several “Recall Gov. Kate Brown” signs were also present.
A booth was set up to collect signatures for Recall Kate Brown petitions and State Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Winston, and Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice spoke to the crowd and answered questions from the audience about enforcing the governor’s mandates.
“The purpose was to get common minds together that are invested in freedom and liberty, people that are tired of being pushed around, people that feel disenfranchised,” Heard said. “They don’t feel heard, they were wanting to show their local elected officials that there’s people that support what the commissioners are doing standing up to Kate Brown.”
Boice told the crowd the county doesn’t have plans to enforce the governor’s mask requirements.
“We’re on target because Douglas County has done a very good job of preventing the spread,” Boice said. “We don’t feel like going out and enforcing this thing on people that are already doing a good job.
“Not a single person has ever gotten the virus at a restaurant or bar (in the county), so we keep telling the governor, ‘Why do you keep attacking the restaurants and bars when they’re not the problem?’”
Letha Patterson held a sign that read “Now you’ve made the Grandma mad.”
“My granddaughter is a very strong woman, so I came with her and my great-grandchildren too,” Patterson said. “That’s a good turnout and I really like Dallas Heard’s message.”
Rochelle Mobley-Smith said she came out because she listened to Heard at the Nichols Band Shell on Monday night.
“I liked what I heard, I liked what I saw,” she said. “I think he’s an honest man and I think he genuinely cares about the people of Douglas County.”
Bob Murray and his wife, Kimmie, came out because they’re advocates for the Kate Brown recall and wanted to help.
“We want to collect enough signatures, that’s our goal and obviously we’re of the same mind of a lot of people that were asking questions because we want to know how to get our state back,” Bob Murray said.
“A lot of it, for me, is wearing the mask,” Kimmie Murray said.
Almost no one at the rally wore a mask, protesting the Governor’s mandate to wear masks, face shields or face coverings for offices and indoor public spaces, and in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing is not possible. Children ages 5 and up are required to wear face coverings under the governor’s mandate.
The rally, which started at 4 p.m. lasted about 90 minutes after it was moved to the shade under the courthouse elm tree.